Let’s face it: I’m a whiner sometimes. My favorite topics to whine about: grading, grad school, my noisy neighborhood, paperwork, poorly written emails, email in general, grading, grading, and grading. Merriam-Webster defines whine as “to complain in an annoying way.” That’s me sometimes.
Wah wah wah. My breathing gets shallow. My shoulders creep to my ears. My eyebrows furrow. It’s not attractive.
Whiners aren’t sexy. Here’s the equation: plus whining = minus sexy.
When my students are undecided about a career, I ask them to think about a topic that makes them smile and makes their eyes shine and their shoulders relax. Think Steve Irwin talking about crocodiles. Think Bear Grylls explaining how people can survive. Think Ina Garten as she whips up her sweet corn lobster chowder. She’s ecstatic! She can’t wait for Jeffrey to come home and taste it!
That’s sexy. Whining is not.
At this point in the blog, are you getting upset that I’m implying that you quit whining? Are you like, “But you do it! You said it yourself! Sometimes I want to vent! Who cares what I look like? Waaaaaaaahhh!”
Hey! That’s enough! This is my blog! Write your own pro-whiner blog! I’m merely suggesting that, when you’re whining, see how you feel and check out how you look.
Are you bringing sexy back?
You know what? I’m going to throw you a bone: Turn whining into art. This is an unspoken rule I have with my best friends. I hang out with people who turn their frustrations into comedy. My friend Alisa’s terrible Tinder date rants are YouTube worthy.
Or, turn whining into action! You know what feels much better than complaining about grading? Grading some papers. Getting it done. Taking a walk. Moving forward.
OK, OK, I admit it! I have a hard time not whining, and I’m working on it. We’re all going to whine sometimes and it’s ok: it’s good to figure out what your whining is about and work on it. But, try this: Avoid whining for one day. Up for the challenge?
Try to go a whole day without complaining out loud or thinking whiny thoughts. If you mess up, who cares? Just start over. Just have fun and see what happens. I want to know what happens to you. You can comment below!
Here’s what happened to me: I caught myself wanting to whine. I paused. I wondered what to do with the time and space left in my brain. I started filling in the silence with gratitude and imagination. For example, I was hiking and it was getting steep and rocky and I was getting hot. I wanted to whine… but since I couldn’t, I found myself thinking how beautiful the trees are, and how lucky I am to have able bodied legs. I listened to the sounds in the forest.
I BECAME ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE.
Ok… Let’s just say I feel better. I relax more when I whine less. Want to join me? Remember: plus whining = minus sexy.
So, let’s work on the whining. I’m in it with you. Let’s talk about what we love. Let’s tell jokes. Let’s take action. Let’s solve problems. Let’s eat some lobster corn chowder and be grateful for email.
Well… MMmmmmrrrph. EMAIL. Still working on that one…